Your Family Doctors is an 11 GP clinic located on Australia’s Central Coast. Melissa the Practice Manager shares, “We have 11 GPs, 10 female GPs and one male, so we do a lot around pap smears and that type of thing. We have 6 rooms running at once, 3 nurses and 5 receptionists. We’re a private billing practice and we’ve been in operation for 25 years. We’re not a real clinical-feeling practice. It’s more a homely practice”.
PM, Melissa went on to explain, “We first learned of HotDoc after attending a practice manager’s seminars down in Sydney. I had a look and I was speaking to one of the other practice managers who had looked into it quite well. I suggested it as an option then one of our doctors saw it at a Business for Doctors conference. After they had a look at it, we were ready to go”.
At first the big attraction for Melissa and her team was the scope of HotDoc. She explains, “We were really attracted by the amount of things that it could do”.
Pictured: (left) Melissa, Practice Manager, and (right) Trish Giuliano, Receptionist.
One platform for all patient engagement
Over time, as the clinic started to use more of HotDoc’s products, what became more clear was the advantage of using one platform for all patient engagement.
Nurse Manager, Kylie Le Strande, shares, “Before we had online bookings with a different booking provider and then the SMS’ coming through our PMS. I think having the different programs was difficult. Whereas now, HotDoc does the lot. I think that’s easier to manage when they’re all coming in from the one dashboard that we can access any time”.
She adds, “Recalls, for instance. Now, just one person does it. Like, I know what’s been sent out each month. I send out the letters and it’s all in that one place. I like that, that it’s not all over the place”. Melissa adds, “HotDoc has been streamlining a lot of our processes, like Reminders too. The girls used to do that manually, whereas now with HotDoc we don’t have to worry about that because it automatically does things like that”.
Kylie shares that HotDoc is having an effect on patients too,
Our patients are actually getting to the stage now that they don’t even write their appointment down because they know they’re going to get a text reminder. So it’s making them a bit lazy, but they love relying on it.
Pictured: A patient in Your Family Doctor’s waiting area
Another benefit is the audit trail HotDoc provides the clinic when sending recalls and reminders. Melissa shares, “Anything that goes out we can access and know that HotDoc sent an SMS this day and a letter was sent this day. Again, it’s knowing it all comes from the same place and not just a receptionist free-typing in the file. I think it’s more official with HotDoc”.
Recalling more patients for preventative health checks
Simplicity aside, the biggest impact HotDoc has made on Your Family Doctors is encouraging more patients to book in for preventative health checks.
Nurse Manager, Kylie, explains, “Patient recalls is a big thing. Patients are coming back for review appointments more often. I think it’s proved itself there. Like childhood immunisation reminders. I think we’re getting more patients coming back for reviews because of HotDoc”.
Practice Manager, Melissa, agrees. “We get a lot of patients who don’t realise what is available and what they’re entitled to… the 40–45 health checks and things like that, some slip through if their doctor doesn’t suggest it, and some patients only come in every two years… So when we send out a broadcast, I think we’ve got a few appointments out of that”.
Melissa went on to share,
I think it’s prompted people. We’ve got a lot of returns for pap smears that they said they wouldn’t have come in if they didn’t get the SMS. It’s also making people think about things, even like health assessments. They wouldn’t have come in if they didn’t’ get the alerts.
“We’ve done a few broadcasts as well on different things and we’ve got a pretty good response from that too. We did one on pneumococcal, so anyone with asthma or COPD that hadn’t had a pneumococcal vaccine. We did a broadcast on that and we’ve done a couple of broadcasts on Zostavax for the shingles vaccine. We’ve had a good response with that as well”.
Pictured: Kylie Le Strande, Nurse Manager, using HotDoc’s preventative health tool, Inform
Kylie adds, “I think it’s just the ease of it from my end. It’s just so easy to send out recalls. It’s user-friendly from my end and the feedback I’ve had from patients has been that they like it as well, so it benefits both”.
Streamlining the registration process for new patients
Kylie and Melissa also praised HotDoc’s New Patient Registration forms for streamlining the onboarding process for new patients. Kylie explains, “The online new patient forms are going really well. I think we’ve only been doing that probably a couple of months, but they’re working great so far”.
Melissa adds, “Yeah, actually that’s helped a lot because we used to ask patients to arrive 10-15 mins early, but they generally don’t and then they spend their appointment pretty much filling in the form – then the appointment would run late because the receptionist would have to type it all in, which makes the nurse late, which makes the doctor late – so it has a snowball effect. Whereas, with the new patient registration form, as soon as the form comes through it updates the appointment book so we don’t have to worry. So time-saving wise, it’s been brilliant”.